July Poetry 2024

Trail Boss

He flies through the air
And lands with a crack.
There’s stars in his eyes
A sharp pain in his back.
But he gets up and
Brushes the dust to the wind.
With a big breath
He’s back in the saddle again.
Then he turns to his crew
And sees their surprise.
Says, “Come on, boys
We got cattle to drive.”
One says with a chuckle
As he trots away,
“That ole man’s tough,
That’s all you can say.”

L Jay McDonald, Nunn Poudre Valley REA member


Poor firewood,
Brittle and light,
And having a root bark
Of gray furrowed ridges,
The cottonwood endures
As the grandfather of all poplars.

The yellow-stemmed, waxen leaves
Cling like lances to white-gray twigs
That burgeon a cotton snow spring.
They flurry with a July breeze
And shimmer in the autumnal rains.

Branches randomly push up and out,
Toward the light,
And in winter you can sense a naked sorrow
Below the idle white.

In the Southwest,
The cottonwood was,
And still is,
A signpost of water
And welcoming shade.

Dig near its roots,
And you will soon find
Cool damp sands clinging
To your skin, revealing
Another of life’s explicable indexes.

Burt Baldwin, Bayfield La Plata Electric Association member

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